Recital 12 February: Florian Mitrea

Our next recital will be on Tuesday 12 February at 7.15 pm in the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.  The pianist is Florian Mitrea who will be playing

Mozart:            Fantasia in C minor K 475 
Sonata in C major Op. 53 “Waldstein” 
Scherzo No. 1 in B minor
.                         Nocturnes Op. 27/1 and Op. 55/1
.                         Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante

This recital is kindly supported by Making Music’s Philip and Dorothy Green Award for Young Concert Artists scheme.

Tickets at the door are £12.50.  (Free for accompanied children 16 & under; £6.00 for full time students and those on unemployment benefit).

Review of ABRSM Concert 11th January, 2019

An audience of around fifty took in this special event, when Murray McLachlan, Head of Keyboard Studies at Chethams, Manchester, played a selection of pieces from the 2019-20 Piano Syllabus. As he was also a co -author of the Teacher Notes on these pieces produced by the ABRSM, and a prominent solo pianist in his own right, the evening was greatly anticipated. The audience were not disappointed, as he endeavoured to play and comment upon a vast selection from all the grades.

The first half consisted of the early grades. With Murray’s first-hand knowledge as a previous examiner, he was able to give us an insight into what an examiner was looking for (style and character), and many of the pieces, despite their simplicity, came across as beautiful and charming in their own right.  It was almost an impossible task to play all of the 48 programmed pieces in their entirety, and we had to be content to listen to extracts from some of the pieces in the later grades. However, his friendly style of delivery, and his insistence on the pieces being alive with characterisation and expression, rather than military precision, more than made up for this. He still managed to finish with the full version of Gershwin’s Prelude No 1 from Three Preludes. with aplomb.

Audience numbers were a little disappointing in that despite widespread publicity among senior schools in the area, there were not more pupils and their families attending, who may also have been interested in some of our future recitals. It is to be hoped that word will get around, ‘What a cracking evening you have missed’

Special Event: Friday 11th January 2019

Murray McLachlan (Head of Keyboard Studies, Chethams , Manchester & co-author of the Teacher Notes) will  play a selection from all the grades of the ABRSM Piano Syllabus, 2019-20, on our lovely Steinway Grand, on

Friday 11th January, 2019 @ 7.00 p.m.

at the Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens.

Tickets: Adults £10, Children £5 

 from: Museum, Sunderland, SR1 1PP

           Windows Music Shop, Central Arcade, Newcastle  0191 2321356

           N A Swallow 0191 2364864 or

Windows will also be selling the pieces before the performance and during the interval

Free nibbles available plus wine for sale

Tickets are limited – so book early (only unsold tickets will be available at the door)

Review of Recital by Jamie Bergin 20 November 2018

Despite a cold, wet evening a good audience attended a recital given in the Pottery Room at Sunderland Museum on Tuesday evening and they were not disappointed by the performance given by British born pianist Jamie Bergin, who impressed everyone with his thoughtful playing. The evening began with a beautiful and relaxed performance of the Moments Musicaux by Schubert which was followed by the Sonata No. 26 in E Flat, op. 81a [Les Adieux] by Beethoven and although both works came from around the same time there was a marked contrast in style. The more simple style of the Schubert [particularly in Nos. 3 and 6] was complemented by the middle period Beethoven which ended with an exciting third movement.

After the interval there was a rarely performed work by Debussy, Images Oubliées. This was a good introduction to Gaspard de la Nuit which ended the programme. Here, we were left in no doubt about Jamie Bergin’s virtuosity. The performance was given with great authority, with the technical problems presenting no difficulty. Scarbo was particularly stunning and made a good end to the evening during which we had heard a performance of great maturity, technique and dynamic range which went from ppp (without losing the quality of sound) to louder passages which were never too loud.

Jamie has now finished his tour of London and the North East and is returning to Germany but we hope that he will come back in the not too distant future.

Lily Scott

Recital 20 November: Jamie Bergin

Our next recital will be on Tuesday 20 November at 7.15 pm in the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.  The pianist is Jamie Bergin who will be playing

Schubert:         Moments Musicaux
Beethoven:     Sonata Op.81a  “Les Adieux ”
Debussy:          Images Oubliées
Ravel:               Gaspard de la Nuit

Tickets at the door are £12.50.  (Free for accompanied children 16 & under; £6.00 for full time students and those on unemployment benefit).

Review of Recital by Cristian Sandrin 16 October 2018

Sunderland Pianoforte Society continued its 76th season with an outstanding recital given by the Romanian pianist Cristian Sandrin who was kindly sponsored by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust. The recital was given in the Pottery Room at Sunderland Museum on Tuesday, 16th October and was well attended by an enthusiastic audience that was well rewarded with an excellent evening.

The recital started with the Variations in F minor by Haydn which were followed by the Sonata in D minor op.31 no.2 by Beethoven, both well played, with great attention to detail particularly in the first movement of the Beethoven where the pedal was used correctly as indicated by the composer. The second movement was beautifully played and the third movement was a fitting end to the first half. After the interval we heard Étude pour les Arpèges Composés No. 11 by Debussy, a difficult, rarely played work from a set of 12 piano studies. This was one of the most popular of the set and certainly one of the most difficult, again well played. We then heard the Berceuse, op.57 by Chopin and the evening ended with Kreisleriana op.16 by Schumann which was the highlight of the recital and left the audience demanding an encore. The Chopin Barcarolle was a fitting end to a really enjoyable evening which was appreciated by everyone.

Born to a family of musicians from Bucharest, Romania, Cristian Sandrin made his solo debut at the age of 13. After graduating from the Dinu Lipatti Art College he moved to London where he worked with many famous pianists. His solo debut in London was at the Wigmore Hall in September 2017.

The Society is grateful for the financial help given by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust by making it possible for us to present such a brilliant young pianist who is assured of a successful career.

Lily Scott

Recital 16 October: Cristian Sandrin

Our next recital will be on Tuesday 16 October at 7.15 pm in the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.  The pianist is Cristian Sandrin, and the recital is supported by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust.  Cristian will be playing

Haydn:            Variations in F minor
Beethoven:    Sonata in D minor op. 31/2 “The Tempest ”
Debussy:         Étude pour les Arpèges Composés No. 11
Chopin:            Berceuse Op. 57
Schumann:     Kreisleriana

Tickets at the door are £12.50.  (Free for accompanied children 16 & under; £6.00 for full time students and those on unemployment benefit).

Review of Recital by Riyad Nicolas 25 September 2018

On Tuesday, 25th September Sunderland Pianoforte Society opened its 76th season with a recital given by RIYAD NICOLAS who has just returned from Budapest after winning 1st Prize in the famous LISZT PIANO COMPETITION.

This was well attended by an appreciative audience who enjoyed an evening of impressive piano music. The recital began with a thoughtful performance of the Sonata no.31 in A flat major, op.110 by Beethoven which was followed by Schumann’s Fantasiestücke, op. 16, a set of 8 pieces well contrasted in style and beautifully played. After the interval Riyad Nicolas played the Chopin Sonata no. 3 in B minor, and this was a rare performance of attention to detail and perfection which at no time was ever overtaken by his brilliant technique. This was played with thought and sensitivity. We then heard Grandes Études de Paganini No. 6 by Liszt and realised why Riyad had won such a major prize as this very demanding study was played without any effort. This ended the recital but the audience wanted more and were given an encore of Dia Al Succari “Danse de Laila”.

Riyad Nicolas was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1989 and has already established himself as a highly talented and brilliant pianist who has played in many parts of the world. Besides solo performances Riyad is a keen Chamber Music player.

The next recital to be given by the SUNDERLAND PIANOFORTE SOCIETY will be Tuesday, October 16th at 7.15pm in the Pottery room at the Museum. Due to building work in the usual entrance signs will direct the audience through the cafe.

Lily Scott

Recital 25 September: Riyad Nicolas

The first recital of the new season will be on Tuesday 25 September at 7.15 pm in the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.  The pianist is Riyad Nicolas, making his second visit to Sunderland.  He will be playing

Beethoven:      Sonata Op. 110
Schumann:      Fantasiestücke Op. 12
Chopin:             Sonata No. 3 
 Étude No. 6

Please note the amendments to the programme in the brochure.

Tickets at the door are £12.50.  (Free for accompanied children 16 & under; £6.00 for full time students and those on unemployment benefit).  It is also possible to purchase a season subscription for 2018-19 at the door, which includes all six concerts for £60.

Concert by Members and Friends – 15 May 2018

The 75th anniversary season ended in some style with a concert by members and friends of the society, organised by our chairman, Kevin Walsh.  A good audience at the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens enjoyed a varied programme, with interval refreshments.  The pianists and the pieces they played were:

Alan Bowers         Andante from Sonata Op. 28, by Beethoven

Ben Richards        Consolation no. 3 in D flat, by Liszt

Graeme Humphrey      Allemande from French Suite no. 5, by Bach;

.                                       Impromptu in A flat D935, by Schubert

Alan England        La Cathedral Engloutie, by Debussy

Peter Hayes          Maple Leaf Rag, and Stop Time Rag, by Joplin

Annie Ball              El Fandango de Candil from Goyescas, by Granados

Sarah Robinson    Fantasy in C Op.17 (1st movement), by Schumann

Kevin Walsh           Petrarch Sonnet no.47, by Liszt

Joe Carville             Lyric Pieces (selection), by Grieg

Alan Coxon            Reflets dans l’Eau, by Debussy

David McRae         Ballade no. 1 in G minor, by Chopin

.                               La Campanella, by Liszt/Busoni

Thanks to all the pianists for their contributions to what was a very pleasant and successful evening.